Australia, Austria, and New Zealand win Fossils

Australia wins Fossil of the Day at COP22 - 16 Nov 2016

Our first Fossil of the Day award goes to...Australia for making ugly complaints about dirty baggage. We don’t mean to gossip, but today the Australian Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was caught complaining to US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about American charities standing in solidarity with Australian communities who are fighting to prevent the construction of the largest ever coal mine down under - Adani’s Carmichael mine. Australia ratified the Paris Agreement last Friday, so lobbying for coal expansion at the United Nations climate negotiations is an ugly, ugly thing to be doing. Shape up, Australia.

Our second Fossil of the Day award goes to...Austria for dodgy lobbying and dragging down ambition. Despite no progress on emissions for over 25 years (!), Austria has lobbied hard to get maximum flexibility for LULUCF (Google it!) credits as part of the Effort Sharing Decision for EU 2030 climate targets. At the same time, the Austrian government has failed to make any kind of post-2020 financial commitment. Add it all together and it doesn’t reach the kind of ambition required by reality and of course, the Paris Agreement. Boo to you, Austria.

Our third and final Fossil of the Day award goes to...New Zealand for supporting dodgy carbon credits. Despite being involved in discussions to develop ‘high-integrity’ international carbon markets, New Zealand has been fronting up with ‘dodgy carbon credits’, 97 million (!) to be exact, to meet its obligations under the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This will allow New Zealand to use surplus credits to meet its totally limp 2020 emissions reductions target of 5% below 1990, without taking any real action to reduce its emissions. What, New Zealand? Are you trying to be Australia now?